For Every Feast There is a Fast

The fog turned into clouds and squalls and it has been raining intermittently since early Thursday morning. A strong south-easterly wind has waves breaking along the Nimos shoreline and both sea and sky are uninviting shades of cold grey. The barometer is quite high and Symi harbour is fringed with green weed where the sea level has dropped. The Agios Nikolaos is in her winter berth, anchored four square and ready to ride out any winter storm, several metres off the north quay. Apart from a few fishing boats the annual ‘haul out’ is well under way.

The palm trees outside the police station are waving despondent fronds in a forlorn semaphore. Amazingly the pallets of bricks which have decorated the quay next to the clock tower for what seems like eternity, have finally gone. They have been replaced by a heap of sand and some shuttering has been put up around one of the palms which would indicate that a planter is intended. Apart from the bank and Elpida’s all the other doors on that side of the harbour appear closed and the only movement is a solitary muffled figure, head down in the wind and scarf streaming like a windsock, fighting a path to the post office. The weather is supposed to be clearing from tomorrow although temperatures will remain between 10 and 15 degrees.

The first Christmas lights have been put up – small stars and angels on streetlights around the harbour. The ones that were never taken down, in the remoter corners of Chorio, have been plugged back in. A few chocolate Santas have arrived in the supermarkets, as have large quantities of frozen mussels – Advent, like Lent, is a fasting time and many Greeks eat shellfish instead of meat during this period. For every feast there is a fast to balance it.

Have a warm weekend.


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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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